Robins set for league placing

ILKESTON FC are set to discover at what level of the non-league pyramid they will compete next season.

The Football Association’s Leagues Committee met this week to decide the constitution of divisions across the country, with all promotion and relegation issues now complete.

They will announce their decision tomorrow (Friday 20th) and while the final placings could still be subject to change due to a number of clubs facing financial difficulties and an uncertain future, the Robins are hoping for a positive outcome.

Chairman Dave Mantle said: “It has been a frustrating wait for us and the supporters, and there’s no doubt that it has held up our forward planning for the new season.

“In all reality, however, the delay is understandable because the final decisions couldn’t be made until the promotion and relegation issues had been resolved.

“It’s a question of balancing things out so that clubs play against those that are most closely located to them, and that can be a complicated business.”

Among the issues surrounding Ilkeston’s case is whether the club will face punishment for going into liquidation under the guise of Ilkeston Town FC, as has been the case in the past with clubs such as Farsley AFC and Scarborough Athletic, both of whom were placed at least three divisions below where they previously played.

“I understand that they are at liberty to relegate us by up to five levels within the pyramid but we hope the punishment will be nothing as severe as that,” Mantle said on that particular issue last month.

“At the end of the day it is out of our hands.”

The best case scenario would appear to be a placing at level four of the pyramid, namely the Evo Stik League Division One South, where the likes of Belper Town and Rainworth Miners Welfare currently reside.

Gaps could appear in that division with question marks hanging over relegated Retford United, who it is believed are applying for voluntary demotion to a lower level, and Glapwell FC who are currently facing a number of issues over their ground grading.

The alternative could be level five, which would see Ilkeston put into either the Northern Counties East Premier League alongside neighbours Long Eaton United, or the Midland Regional Alliance with a number of clubs from the West Midlands/Leicestershire area.